Is it ever right to actively end someone’s life?
We’re not talking about soldiers on the battlefield.
Nor those cases of the withdrawal of food or drink for someone who is terminally unable to eat or drink.
Or the difficult cases where someone is deeply unconscious and being kept alive but not cured by machinery or drugs.
We’re talking about intervention to positively bring to an end our lives, or the life of someone we love.
Coronation Street have been running a storyline about Hayley, a lady dying of pancreatic cancer who chooses to end her life by taking a lethal drink.
You might say it’s easy to talk about this when it’s not staring you in the face. It’s different when you’re looking at that relative whose life seems meaningless, or who is pleading with you to end their suffering. But perhaps it’s the best time to think clearly about this, so when you are facing the situation in all the mixed emotions you have principles to work from that will honour Christ.
Here are a couple of great links that put the case better than I will:
Stephen Glover writes in the Daily Mail a very perceptive piece about the danger of legalising euthanasia. He’s not arguing from a Christian viewpoint, just a practical one – that people will be ending life at all ages for all kinds of spurious reasons. (He notes the termination of people in their 30’s and 40’s for non life threatening illnesses in Belgium).
It’s really instructive to read the comments made about this article. Some are supportive, but many argue vigorously that ending our lives when we want is a basic human right, and that minimisng suffering is a key factor in deciding viability of life. It’s the signature tune to this age. We own our own bodies and we need to minimise suffering.
I’m grateful Jesus didn’t think that way.